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Confirmed case of monkeypox found in Pinellas County, health officials report

Dr. Ulyee Choe says the individual in Pinellas County is currently recovering at home.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — With the number of monkeypox cases rising to 22 in Florida, there has now been a confirmed case out of Pinellas County, health officials report.

During a media briefing Friday, Florida Department of Health Pinellas County Director Dr. Ulyee Choe spoke of a person infected with monkeypox that was reported Thursday.

Choe says the individual in Pinellas County is currently recovering at home.

Other than Pinellas, counties including Broward, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach and Seminole are seeing positive cases as well.

Nationally, there are 173 cases of the virus confirmed, Choe also explains.

Along with monkeypox, the director also said the number of Hepatitis A cases in the Sunshine State has reached 204 already in 2022. There were 205 cases total in 2021.

A map on Florida Health shows Pasco and Polk counties with a high average rate per 100,000 population for Hepatitis A between March and May of this year.

RELATED: WHO considers declaring monkeypox a global health emergency

The World Health Organization is also considering declaring the spiraling outbreak of monkeypox a global emergency.

With all of this in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says some symptoms of monkeypox to look out for include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
    • The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. This process can take several weeks.

However, the CDC says the overall threat of monkeypox is low because it's a rare disease and doesn't spread easily without close contact. 

For Hepatitis A, Florida saw a surge in the number of cases back in 2018-19 with more than 1,800 such cases reported in July of 2019 which surpassed the 548 cases confirmed the previous year.

According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus include yellow skin or eyes, upset stomach, throwing up, stomach pain, fever, dark urine or light-colored stools, diarrhea and not wanting to eat.

Along with the two ongoing viruses in the state, another disease is creating headlines as well — meningococcal disease.

So far, there have been 12 deaths in Florida this year from a total of 44 cases, Choe explains. The mortality rate is 10-15 percent and can even rise up to 40 percent.

Even with the disease affecting the LGBTQ community in the state of Florida, there's a way to prevent falling seriously ill or even dying.

It's getting vaccinated: That's the message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a statement Wednesday, urging gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men to get a meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY).

This applies to people who live in Florida or who may be traveling to Florida in the future, the agency said.

The most common symptoms of the disease to look out for include fever, headache and stiff neck.

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